Toward the end of last year, industry experts were predicting a slowdown in new construction starts. What they saw is much different than what they expected. Although construction management throughout the pandemic has taken up most of the attention, the industry continues to move forward. Here are a few advantages and concerns that professionals in the industry are likely to see in 2021.
Construction Is an Important Part of the “New Normal”
Starting to get tired of all the people talking about the new normal? You’re not alone. But it’s also worth remembering that the new normal involves lots of opportunities and not just opportunities for anxiety. This year has taught people that the way that they were occupying buildings caused problems for themselves and others. It took a pandemic with a set of frightening symptoms and unpredictable targets to make people rethink the way they do things. They’ll do them differently in the future, and they will need buildings that are set up to allow them to do this. That’s one reason the construction industry hasn’t been hit as hard as others have this year.
Construction Industry Work Is Rebounding
If you consulted experts in 2019, they would have told you to expect a slowdown in construction. These predictions are heavily dependent on the region, but they were also predicated on the assumption that the industry couldn’t keep its high pace after so many years. It’s not surprising that the spring of 2020 brought a lot of chaos to construction projects, just as it did for everything else in the world. But in the midst of an unpredictable world, the need for building continues. And the proof lies in the fact that there are more construction jobs at the end of the year than there were at the beginning of the pandemic.
The Labor Shortage Is Still a Big Problem
It’s tempting to see construction labor shortage within the context of supply and demand, but that’s an oversimplification of the problem. The truth of the matter is that construction doesn’t have enough trained experts in certain fields. As someone leaves a career after decades invested in it, there must be someone who can come into the field to take their place. The problem is that this hasn’t been happening. If a general contractor can’t hire an electrician to help them complete their project, they won’t be able to finish the project. At best, they’ll come in late and over budget. As the number of projects rebounds, the demand for highly-skilled professionals may rise to the levels seen in previous years.
Periodic Restrictions Likely Throughout 2021
It would be nice to close 2020 with a sense that the pandemic is over. After all, there is a vaccine to help prevent people from getting it, and it is now available. Yet, it may be months or more than a year before the majority of the population has access to it, and even longer before the vast majority of the population has received it. This means that state and local governments will continue to keep an eye on the spread of the virus, with periodic shutdowns or limitations on activities as needed. Although construction has been labeled an essential service, it’s not always easy to tell how it will affect adjacent industries or the supply chain. Construction professionals should keep that in mind for the next year.
Construction Is a Strong Career Choice
All signs point to a bright but cautious future for the construction industry in the years to come. There is a lot of work to do, and there still aren’t enough people with the right training and skills to complete it. If you’ve been thinking about starting a career in construction and 2020 has made you wonder if it’s still a good idea, you should know that it is. Your investment now will create benefits that could last your whole career.
The last year has been a whirlwind for many industries, including construction. The good news is that there are a lot of reasons to be optimistic about the future. To discover how you can become a licensed contractor, contact CSLS today!